Authors: Karen Anna Vogel
The Amish Doll
Amish Knitting Novel
Karen Anna Vogel
He restores my soul
The Amish Doll: Amish Knitting Novel
2 by Karen Anna Vogel
Second Edition 2013 by Lamb Books
All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted by any means – electronic, mechanical, photographic (photocopying), recording, or otherwise – without prior permission in writing from the author.
This book is a work of fiction. The
names, characters, places, and incidents are products of
the writer's imagination or have been used fictitiously and
are not to be construed as real. Any resemblance to
persons, living or dead, actual events, locales or
organizations is entirely coincidental.
Contact the author on Facebook at:
Learn more the author at:
Visit her blog, Amish Crossings, at
This book dedicated is Marilyn and Jim Rowland, my neighbors in Ellington, who reached out to all the kids who piled on their porch to sip lemonade, talk, and feel loved.
“Karen Anna Vogel brings to the table a fresh new Amish series that readers will certainly love based from her own experiences as a friend to the Amish. We 'English' look at the Amish through rose-colored glasses. They seem so peaceful and content with a simple way of life. But we forget they are people like everyone else. Karen's series shows this through the hardships and heartbreaks they face and the faith they cling to or struggle with.”
Rita Gerlach, author of
Surrender the Wind, Daughters of the Potomac Series
“Author Karen Vogel has approached the often misunderstood beliefs or the Amish with tact and tenderness, and I highly recommend this heart-stirring story.”
Kathi Macias award-winning author of 35 novels, including
Deliver Me from Evil
A Christmas Journey Home
"Karen writes with heart-touching insight and her characters are gripping. Highly recommended."
Jennifer Hudson Taylor, author of
Highland Blessings & Highland Sanctuary
This book was inspired by three wonderful people and one awesome ministry.
Although the characters in The Amish Doll are fictional, Susanna Yoder is loosely based on the lives of my sister-in-law, Suzanne Vogel, and my brother-in-law, Lee Adams. Both had been on organ transplant lists, but while waiting for a donor, lived amazingly selfless lives. Suzanne reached out to people in need, her hugs bringing healing, and Lee took in foster kids and today, continues to reach out to children by coaching sports.
Joshua Yoder is fictional as well, but based on Suzanne’s son, Joshua Vogel, my nephew. Joshua was a kidney donor, saving his mother’s life.
Prayer Shawl Ministry, founded in 1998 by Janet Bristow and Victoria Galo, has touched many lives around the globe. Shawls are knit or crocheted and given to terminally ill patients. Suzanne Vogel received a prayer shawl and it meant so much to her. She is now learning to knit and plans to start a local Prayer Shawl chapter.
The setting of this book is Ellington, NY, and I hope I portrayed on paper the love I have in my heart for this town. I used to live in this quaint village, where I could befriend two cultures: Amish and Native American. They both intrigue me, being very family oriented and having deep respect for nature. They’ve taught me many life lessons. Although some Native Americans farm and live on reservations, many don’t. This is a work of fiction.
Written exclusively for
The Amish Doll
by Karen AnnaVogel
The triangle is a representation of the Holy Trinity.
The Seed Stitch Pattern is reference to the seeds of prayers for the recipient
that are planted and nurtured by the knitter.
Materials: US #15 32 – 47” Circular needle
5 skeins SuzyB Knits Handspun
Gauge: 2 sts / 1” in pattern stitch
Seed Stitch (on even number of stitches)
Row 1: *K1, P1* repeat * to * across row
Row 2: *P1, K1* repeat * to * across row
Note: knit the purl stitches and purl the knit stitches
Cast on 2 sts
Work in Seed Stitch Pattern
Increase 1st at each end every other row (incorporating increased stitches into pattern as established) until there are 120sts on needle.
Bind off loosely in pattern.
Fringe (make 120 strands)
Wind yarn around a 10” piece of cardboard and cut on one end to make fringe. Divide strands into 2 equal piles (one for each side of shawl)
Attach 2 strands to edge of shawl by folding in half over a crochet hook and pulling the loop thru the edge stitch then pull the fringe ends thru that loop. Repeat this from top of shawl to bottom point then repeat on other side
SuzyB Knits ~PO Box 46~Smicksburg~Pennsylvania~16256~
Joshua Yoder yanked at the hand crank water pump and filled the pan with water. Then he sat it on the woodstove to heat. He stared out the kitchen window at the barn swallows and sighed. They were free to come and go as they pleased. As soon as the thought entered his mind he felt selfish. His
was ill and it was a blessing to care for her. But he just couldn’t believe she wanted to take in foster kids. The article she read in the
about Amish families taking in foster children had touched her heart…but now? When she was so ill?
Joshua stirred the soup he was preparing. In the last stage of kidney failure her diet was so restricted; he had a hard time coming up with something she was allowed to eat. Joshua took a wooden spoon and tasted it. Too bland. He walked over to the blue pantry that extended from the ceiling to the floor. He grabbed dried sage, parsley, and thyme all in pint size mason jars, and stood a second to take inventory. He counted the beans, peas, jams, pears, and apples he’d already put up. Then he thought of all the other fruits and vegetables that needed harvested, and his heart sank.
How he wished he had a wife to help shoulder this burden. Joshua thought of Lottie Miller as he sprinkled the herbs in the soup. It was probably a good thing she called off their courtship last year. A girl who felt neglected because he was caring for his
was not the girl for him. He ladled the soup in a bowl to take upstairs to his
and noticed, as he ascended, the white paint was chipping on the wall. He’d have to wait until after harvest to make repairs.
When he entered his
room he saw she was asleep, so he placed the soup on the ornately carved wood tray his
had made for her, and then sat in the chair near her bed. She didn’t have her prayer
on and he noticed her blond hair was more heavily speckled with gray every day, but she was still such a beautiful woman.
had always said her big light blue eyes first drew him, but it was her kindness and strength that made him pursue. He knew she was born with only one-half of a kidney functioning; the other one was shriveled up and dead. They might never have their own children, but it didn’t matter to him. He loved her. She ended up having two children, risking her life, as gifts to her husband. Joshua’s sister’s offer to have their parents live in Ohio with her so he would have more time to find the right girl and settle down ran through his mind. You’re twenty-four and need to find a wife, she harped. But he objected. His
deserved to be in her home, in a familiar setting.
He saw his
open her heavy eyes to look warmly at him then shut them again. He knew it took strength for her to wake up. Joshua put his hand on hers and prayed the Lord would help. That by some chance they’d hear that a match came in and she could get a transplant. Susanna opened her eyes again and smiled at him. “
for the soup. Smells like chicken,” she said, her voice faint.
“When you get better, I want you to make sage chicken again. I crave it at times.”
“Lord willing, Joshua, Lord willing. No kidney matches yet…”
“But I hear several more people are getting tested this week. Let’s hope someone’s a match.”
She slowly sat up and took the tray. “How do you feel about the foster boys?”
“Couldn’t we get a girl who can cook?”
Susanna bit her lower lip. “Why don’t you admit you like to cook?”
Joshua looked at her loving eyes. Any boy who got to have a
like his for even a little while would be blessed. “I’m ready to take one boy if you are…”
Raven looked intently on the new red sweater she was knitting for her ragdoll. Her stomach turned. At twenty-four, she was still trying to find where home was. When would she knit the last sweater for her ragdoll?
Some of her long hair fell on the knitting and she pushed it away, but then took a piece of it. She needed to get mahogany highlights again? The black of her hair always took over. But what did she care? She no longer had a boyfriend who cared about her looking Native American. Brandon told people she was French. How did she date him, even consider marriage, for so long?
Her grandparents were Native American, and she was now living back in the area she vowed never to return, Western New York. But her ethnic group was well represented, and respected. She’d keep her hair black. Her mind turned to her grandmother, who’d twisted her hair into two braids every morning before school. Raven knew she’d been a burden to raise and it shortened her grandmother’s life. Her grandfather died of grief soon after.
Yes, her black hair brought back many memories, some not so good. Little Half-Breed, her cousins called her, half Seneca Indian and half white. She was fair skinned, compared to other
Native Americans and her grandmother assumed she got it from her father…her green eyes too.
Raven cast off the yarn and put the sweater on her doll and placed it right on her bed. No more hiding it, afraid Brandon would make some demeaning joke. No, she was in the land of snow, and he was in the land of sun, Florida, and for that, she was glad.
But Raven had to sigh inwardly. She couldn’t believe she accepted this job as a social worker in the very place she vowed never to return. She’d spent so many years in foster homes scattered across Cattaraugus and Chautauqua counties for nine years, until she was eighteen and on her own. Maybe she was rash in accepting the first offer. But she could no longer tolerate Brandon and his temper.
She got up and went to her new dresser, parted her hair down the middle and picked her favorite bronze antique barrette, pulled her hair in a bunch at the nape of her neck, and clipped it on. She turned to take a second look at her new room. Light mint walls with a red floral border all around the top. Cherry woodwork around all the windows and doors. Living in a Victorian mansion wasn’t something on her bucket list. She preferred a log cabin in
the woods, not a small town, picture perfect out of a Thomas Kinkade painting.
She heard Mrs. Rowe calling from downstairs that breakfast was ready. She looked again at her room. Boxes that needed unpacked stared her down. After meeting the boys and taking a short jog, she’d start unpacking. Work didn’t start until tomorrow, but she didn’t want to appear lazy and that she wasn’t earning her keep.
She opened her door and looked down at the ornate red carpet in the hallway. She hadn’t noticed it when she came in last night. Why not brown carpet, the same color as dirt, with boys running all over it? Walking down the long hallway, she ran her fingers along the fancy red and green wallpaper, as smooth as satin. How could the state afford something so grand? As she reached the beautifully carved staircase, she saw an elderly gentleman standing at the bottom of the steps, smiling up at her.
“I was going to come up to see if you escaped using the emergency fire ladders. Having second thoughts about being here?”
His smile was more in his eyes than anywhere and it captured her gaze as she descended the stairs. “I’m not having second thoughts. Sorry I’m late for work.” She extended her hand. “I’m Raven Meadow. Do you work for the state too?”
He took her hand and cupped it with his other. “I work in a state of chaos a lot but no, not for the state of New York. I’m Jim Rowe. I’m married to Marilyn.”
Raven still was transfixed with Mr. Rowe’s twinkling hazel eyes. “You own this house? I thought it was owned by the state.”
“No, it’s a privately run non-profit home. We’ve been housing boys here for years. We try to keep a low profile but the boys seem to make the house scream for attention from the neighbors. Always testing the boundaries.”
Raven clasped her hands in front of her. “So, Mr. Rowe, I’m working for you? Are you the man who interviewed me over the phone?”
“The very one and I liked you right off the bat. I knew you could empathize with hurting children after you told me you’d been in foster homes. You’ve had a good education, too, Masters in Social Work.”
Mrs. Rowe opened the kitchen door with a huff. “Doesn’t anyone take me seriously? I yelled breakfast was ready fifteen minutes ago.”
“I’m sorry Mrs. Rowe. I got down as soon as I could,” Raven said.
Mrs. Rowe looked at her puzzled. “I’m not talking to you, dear; I’m talking about those boys most likely still sleeping upstairs. They need to eat before the bus comes.” She paused to take a breath. “I am so glad you’re here.” She winked at Raven. “Call me Marilyn.”
“Okay. I’m more than willing to help. Do you want me to go upstairs and get the boys?”
Jim put up his hand in protest. “They’re not babies. The youngest is ten and able to set an alarm clock. When I was their age I was up at the crack of dawn selling apples. Kids are pampered too much today.”
“You and your Great Depression stories. I bet you were late a day or two,” Marilyn said.
“And I learned by the age of ten there were consequences to my behavior.”
“Ten? I thought it was twelve. Next time you tell that story you’ll be selling apples in the dead of winter in your diapers. Exaggeration is the same as a white lie and you know what the Good Book says about that.” She pinched his cheek in a playful
way, and then cupped her hands around her mouth and aimed upstairs. “Boys, get up. The bus is here!” she yelled.
“It never amazes me that for a little thing, you can yell so loud,” Jim said leaning over to pat her curly silver hair. She pushed his arm away, hiding a smile. The sound of doors slamming echoed through the downstairs entry way. The boys came running down the stairs, tripping over each other.
“You boys walk. We don’t want an avalanche on our hands,” Jim said firmly.
The boys slowed down and walked out the front door, books in tow. Then in unison they all turned around and tried to hide their laughter. “She did it again! Blast it,” one of the boys yelled. “The bus isn’t here.”
“Ha, I got you up, though,” Marilyn said, very happy with herself. “Now you boys sit down in the kitchen and eat your breakfast - cold.”
A round of complaints circled the room. “This is not a hotel boys; how many times do I have to say it? I am not Paula Deen with her southern hospitality. Now go sit down, say grace, and eat.”
The boys walked forlornly into the kitchen and closed the door. “I’ll heat your eggs up, Raven. Don’t worry. I’m trying to teach them a lesson.”
Raven crossed her arms. “How can you make a child pray if he doesn’t want to?”
“Excuse me, dear. I don’t understand your meaning.”
“You told the boys to say grace. Isn’t that an infringement on their rights?”
“Saying grace before a meal never hurt anyone,” Jim said. “We’re Christians and own and run this house like we see fit.”
Raven narrowed her gaze. “Why didn’t you tell me when I interviewed?”
“I didn’t think you’d have any objections. Our other workers never have.” He scratched the back of his neck. “You don’t have to pray or read a Bible to work here.”
Raven didn’t know what to do or say, but she knew she wanted to run. After breakfast she’d run her jog and try to figure out why she was so irritated at the Rowes this very moment.
Joshua scattered cracked corn to the chickens in the henhouse. He could just dump the whole bag in the feeder, but he
relished the time in the barn. He heard footsteps and turned to see his
, pulling his long beard.
“Son, are you sure you can handle foster kids? Sometimes I think we’re being selfish, asking you to take on more responsibility.” He leaned up against the cow stall.
“You know what the doc said. Her will to live is important. I haven’t seen her so excited about anything in years.”
“Do you think it’s all the medicine though? Maybe she’s not thinking right.”
Joshua threw the rest of the corn at the chickens and picked up the metal bucket and walked into the cow stall. After wiping down the udder and smoothing down the cow’s side, he started to squirt milk into the bucket.
He saw his
look over into the stall. “I think you need to be the one who goes to Appleton. Jim Rowe will give you an honest opinion about what you’re getting into. We can always get girls, too; we don’t have to limit ourselves to Appleton.”